Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One for the chef

Some quick calendar notes:

Toms River brewpub Artisan's holds its mug club dinner Friday, beginning at 7 p.m., with a lineup of six beers, including a weizenbock that marks the first time ever brewer Dave Hoffmann has made that style for public consumption (Dave also owns Climax Brewing in Roselle Park).

There's also a really exceptional pils on tap, and as much as we'd like to keep talking up the beers, it's fitting to give some credit to Artisan's chef Steve Farley.

Steve puts together a really kickin' spread for this gig, including a buttermilk fried chicken that will have you ignoring your doctor's warnings about fried foods. Not because it's guiltless, but because it's incredibly good. (Think Thomas Keller of Ad Hoc fame – that kind of chicken).

So go for the beer, stay for the food.

Meanwhile, Saturday in Maple Shade Iron Hill celebrates its second anniversary with a bourbon-barrel aged winter warmer (kept four months in the barrel), appropriately dubbed Christmas in July, and a second generation of the Sorachi Ace-hopped Rising Sun, this time a double IPA called Second Rising and dosed with enough Sorachi for an emperor.

(One of the cool things Iron Hill has done with this beer is use it to raise money for earthquake/tsunami relief in Japan. Sometimes, it's not about the beer's flavor, but what the beer can do to help people.)

Iron Hill gets a little fancier on July 27th with a beer dinner that also salutes the brewpub's two years in New Jersey. The brewpub was founded by three Jersey guys who launched in Delaware for business reasons but had always wanted to be in the Garden State.

Two years ago, they got their homecoming.

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